Apple’s new iPhone 13 comes with a whole bunch of enhancements over it predecessor. The iPhone 12 that debuted in 2020 is still future proof with a great user experience. Should you pay the premium for the latest iPhone or does the iPhone 12 tick enough boxes for you. We break it down for you:


The hardware: 

At the heart of the iPhone 13 is the new A15 Bionic chip with a new 6-core CPU with two new high-performance cores and four new high-efficiency cores. It’s not just faster gameplay, everything from the camera to navigation gets a boost. The A14 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 12 is no slouch. You won’t really a difference between these two devices when it comes to your need for speed. The entry level storage variant for the iPhone 13 is now 128GB – about time too. The iPhone 12 starts at 64GB. 

The Cam:

Apple’s clever take on ‘Knives Out’ during the launch was a great advert for Cinematic Mode, a cool video tool. Cinematic mode automatically transitions focus while filming in real time and thereby shifts focus when subjects enter or leave the frame; you can edit the depth-of-field effect in video even after recording. There’s also the new ‘Photographic Styles’ that gives you a choice of five styles (like ‘vibrant’ or ‘rich contrast’) that allow you to set the tone even before you snap the image (unlike a post shot filter). But the big hardware upgrade is the Sensor-shift that was an iPhone 12 Pro Max exclusive. This year it’s available on the 13 and 13 Mini too. It stabilises the sensor instead of the lens; this makes shots steadier. The dual rear cam also gets a lift with the new wide camera with 1.7 µm pixels. It allows the rear cam to gather 47% more light than the iPhone 12 delivering better lowlight images. I shot food and images of people in a bar with dim lighting and the results were impressive. This is an area where the iPhone 13 has a significant edge. 

iPhone 13


The only significant difference is the placement of the rear lens. It has been rejigged in the iPhone 13; the diagonal alignment looks more elegant now. We’re also fans of the new pink colour option on the iPhone 13; it’s subtle and yet a showstopper. There’s another change you’re unlikely to notice – the iPhone 13 is 0.25 mm thicker and 11 gm heavier than the iPhone 12 but it’s for a good reason.


The extra heft is to accommodate a more robust battery. Apple doesn’t share battery spec details but has pegged the increased battery life at 2.5 hours. It was one of the standout improvements (over last year’s iPhone 12) in our extensive tests with this device. If battery life is a key purchase driver, then you might gravitate towards the iPhone 13. 


The iPhone 13 features the same screen size as the iPhone 12, but the 6.1-inch display Super Retina XDR OLED display gets brighter (by 28%) this year with a maximum outdoor brightness at 800 nits, with higher peak brightness for HDR content like photos and videos at 1200 nits. You don’t get the 120Hz refresh rate though; that’s reserved for this year’s Pro models. The other update is a smaller notch (about 20% smaller) on the iPhone 13.

iPhone 12


The most visible differences that you’re likely to experience in everyday usage between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13 is essentially three things – a much better camera, improved battery life and a brighter display. If these are deal breakers for you, then the Rs 14K premium might well be worth it. 

The iPhone 13 starts at Rs 79,900 (128GB)  while the iPhone 12 (64GB) starts at Rs 65,900